much stronger national government — increasing powers W r i t i n g

much stronger national government — increasing powers W r i t i n g

Question Set #4.

The Bureaucracy, The Courts, and Interest Groups.

Please respond to each of the four short response questions posted below. Your answers should be short, focused, and complete, ranging from one to three paragraphs. Please make sure to answer each specific part of every question. Successful answers will provide details and context that support your arguments and explain your position to the readers. You may also want to provide real world examplestaken from the readings, lectures, group discussions, or your own independent thinking. These illustrations can be from the course materials or your own ideas. Providing this context and being able to apply the material to YOUR OWN understanding of politics really shows us that you have mastered the material.

  1. A) What do principal agent dilemmas teach us about government behavior and the relationship of executive agencies to government? B) Provide an example of a principal agent dilemma in government. C) Explain how government solves (or mitigates) this principal agent dilemmas?
  2. A) Why is the Judicial Branch considered the weakest branch in government? B) How did the authority of the judicial branch evolve over time? C) Why are modern day judicial nominations so critical for the parties and so contentious for Senate politics? [Please feel free to use examples from the recent nomination and appointment battles].
  3. Drawing from lectures and the readings, identify the important benefits and drawbacks of interest group participation in American politics. A) why do some argue that interest groups are beneficial to American lawmaking? B) What are the key concerns about interest group influence in elections and lawmaking. C) In your view, is such interest group influence a problem for American democracy? Why?
  4. A) Describe the difference between insider and outsider lobbying tactics. B) Why do some interest groups favor insider tactics, while others favor outsider lobbying? C) Under what circumstances will one be more impactful than the other? D) What does this tell us about pluralism and power in American politics?

These resources you may use:

I wanted to provide you some guidelines for responding to the question set questions moving forward.

First, we wanted to clarify that your answers are not meant to be essay length. You should aim to keep each of your responses in the question set to around 300 words.

You are welcome to write your answers in traditional paragraph form.

However, you are also welcome to start each response with a topic sentence and then provide bullet points with the key details and information if you find that to be a more efficient approach.

For example, if you were writing an answer about the differences between the Constitution of the United States and the Articles of Confederation you could write:

The Constitution of the United States was specifically designed to address several weaknesses of government that had been revealed under the Articles of Confederation.

  • The Constitution created a much stronger national government– increasing powers of Congress and a newly created office of the president. For example…
  • The Constitution empowered Congress to raise tax revenue, giving the new national government the ability to overcome collective action problems by raising revenues and provide for public goods like national defense. For example…
  • The Constitution created the executive branch and the presidency to allow for quick action in times of crises. For example…

Note that the “For example…” sections are places where you would fill in your own perspective of details for each answer.

Regardless of whether you write in paragraphs or bullet points, your work should show your own thinking on the topic. Please do not copy and paste from resources you find online or elsewhere!

In this online course, we are giving you the opportunity to develop your responses with access to your notes, textbooks, and any other resources you have available. We expect that your work represents your own best effort to think about the questions and answer them with your own perspective. In fact, what we are really looking for is evidence that you can explain and then contextualize the questions in a way that makes sense to you and with your own historical or contemporary examples. This demonstrates to us that you are really mastering the material.

I hope this helps you as you prepare your responses on the Question Sets.

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